1111 North Mangum Street

36.007078, -78.894005

Cross Street
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National Register
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1981 (Old North Durham Architecture Slides, Durham County Library)

Tobacco warehouseman Maynard Mangum had this imposing two story clapboarded house constructed in 1914 by local contractor Lonnie Glosson. A similarity in the overall form, proportions and low hipped roof with deep bracketed eaves between this house and the Umstead-Rollins House next door may be due to the fact that both houses were designed by Rose and Rose, Architects. The Mangum House, however, is more overtly neoclassical on both the exterior and the interior than the Umstead-Rollins House. Here, Tuscan columns alternate with weatherboarded piers to support the one story wraparound porch. The spacious interior is dominated by a broad central hallway containing the main staircase, the center- piece of the house. The graceful staircase, flanked by Ionic columns and pilasters at its base, rises to a landing with a Palladian window where it divides symmetrically into two smaller flights that continue to the second story. Of the several houses that he built in this neighborhood, this, the grandest of them all, was Mangum's own residence.

For many years, it served as the Kempner Rice Diet Clinic, which attracted hundreds of people from all over the country for decades.


Burl Ives across W. Lynch St., in front of 1201 N. Mangum. (Courtesy Eleanor Elliott)

The house was completely renovated in 2009-2010.

1111 North Mangum Street, 02.12.11


This is the house my grandmother was born in and lived in as a child. It was built by Wm. Maynard Mangum, a member of the first Durham Co. Commissioners and the Tobacco Trade Commission, and Julia Durham (a distant cousin of Bartlett). When my grandmother died, she left me a page from an unidentified "ghost stories of the south" book that featured an article about this house and claimed that my great-great grandmother Julia died in the back bedroom and continues to haunt the house. Farad Ali, our current city councilman, did an amazing job restoring the house when he purchased it and getting it on the historic register. The house is also notable because it was purchased by Walter Kempner and became the Rice Diet House, where numerous celebrities from Buddy Hackett to Elvis Presley stayed at times. Maynard also built the house next door to it on Lynch St., which is still standing.

The two-story home of Maynard's grandfather, Jesse Mangum, is also still standing -- albeit in very poor shape -- in northern Durham County. The Durham planning commission, which helped me locate it, once told me that it is one of the oldest standing residential structures remaining in the whole county. It is long abandoned but the surrounding area remains nearly completely undeveloped, looking just as it did when it was built back before the Civil War.


I used to frequent this house in the 50's and 60's when my grandmother, Ophelia Bennett Bailey, operated The Rice House and may have owned it.  Amazing memories of this beautiful home.  Many celebrities came here as "patients" including Buddy Hackett, Beatrice Taylor (Aunt Bee on Andy Griffith Show), Burl Ives--just a few I remember my grandmother telling me about.  I imagine the house was usually filled to capacity with "patients" as on each of my many visits it was a very busy and popular place. 

My grandparents lived in a suite on the back corner of the home opposite the kitchen.  Between the kitchen and the suite was a sitting room with jalousy windows.  The grand hall  and dining room were massive.  I remember a bathroom off a suite to the right of the grand hall (foyer) that had tiny black and white octagonal tiles.  My grandmother had what looked like the current coconut hanging baskets from the porch filled with ferns or flowers.  There were a couple of "examining rooms" off the grand hall.  Such a beautiful house in its day--I hope it has been renovated to it's original grandeuer. 

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